It’s surreal to run into the one who got away. Remember her? You used to fall asleep buried in her hair and breathing in her scent eagerly. Now you barely register a change in your pulse as you pass each other on the sidewalk. Its rhythm is the same as always – even, slow, monotonous..perhaps it skips a beat for a short moment as if you’re waiting, no, hoping for something that never comes to be.
It’s unreal to recognise those eyes, that voice, the hands you kissed in a daze not because they had done something exceptional, but simply because they were perfect with their gracious imperfections. She looks the same; in fact she hasn’t changed a bit, her movement, the way she answers her phone – all exactly the way you remember them. The way she frowns, smiles and pauses to ponder on something important – so painfully familiar, but void of that inexplicable power they once had over you.
A fleeting emotion, a barely distinguishable feeling of warmth, but nothing more. it’s weird to realise you would have fallen just as madly and deeply in love with her even if you had met her now. Yes, you’ve changed and yes – you’re wiser, but you know with certainty that you would’ve written poems, hoping she would read them because her opinion is the only one that matters. And you gaze in awe at the years that have passed when you ached for her presence in your life; now she’s here – as close to you as you had wished her to be numerous times – and it brings nothing of the longing for completeness and peace you hoped for.
Instead you’re able to observe her impartially just like a passing stranger. She doesn’t seem as dangerous as you thought her to be. All those little tricks she had up her sleeve to keep you in line and chasing after her, begging for approval – powerless. Her laughter flows melodically, but you pay no attention to her jokes; you don’t have to any more. You see her walking away while holding someone else’s hand and it doesn’t matter. The thought of this happening used to make you curl up in a fit of pain and now it puts a smile on your lips. Sure, you’re still attracted to her, but without the drama, the whirlwind of emotions, the anxiety. There’s not even a trace from the all-consuming rage and fear of rejection.
It’s as if a team of scientists working in a lab have removed a single molecule from the formula they’ve been developing and the liquid stopped fuming and bubbling. It’s pristinely clear and still now. The fire is still burning, but its flames are nourishingly warm instead of lethally consuming. It feels strange to be this close to her without dying inside.
Then you realize time has nothing to do with any of this..